Indecent assault happens when a person takes sexual liberties, or unwanted sexual contact, with another individual. Indecent assault includes acts like rubbing or groping a person for sexual gratification. Washington State has a similar law regarding indecent assault, called indecent liberties.

What Are “Indecent Liberties”?

Indecent liberties are when a defendant allegedly forced non-consensual sexual contact with another individual.

What Makes Assault Indecent?

Assault is indecent when it involves unwanted sexual contact. The person accused of this crime has allegedly taken liberties with another individual without that individual’s consent.

How Is Indecent Assault Different from Sexual Assault?

The two crimes are very similar. If a person is accused of committing the crime, they may be charged with either sexual assault or indecent assault.

What Is Considered Indecent Assault?

Sexual acts defined as indecent vary, but touching someone’s private areas without their consent is considered indecent. Other types of indecent contact include:

  • Rubbing against someone for sexual gratification
  • Groping someone for sexual gratification
  • Touching a person on any part of their body in a sexual manner

How Is Indecent Exposure Different from Indecent Assault?

Indecent exposure is a sex crime involving exposing one’s private parts to others. Although a person may expose themselves to another individual, indecent assault involves having contact with the victim.

Is Urinating in Public Considered Indecent Exposure?

No, depending on where the urinating is done. An individual urinating outside of the direct view of the public, such as while ducking behind a bush, would not be committing indecent exposure because of lack of intent and lack of sexual gratification.

Is Breastfeeding in Public Considered Indecent Exposure?

There is a breastfeeding exemption in indecent exposure laws. This exemption allows a mother to breastfeed her baby publicly with or without her breast being partially shown. The law does not permit breastfeeding for play, entertainment, show, or exhibition.

What Do Prosecutors Need to Prove to Convict Me of Indecent Liberties?

Prosecutors have to establish the defendant knowingly caused another person to have unwanted sexual contact with them or a third party.

How Can Prosecutors Prove I Knowingly Made Another Person Have Unwanted Sexual Contact?

Prosecutors can prove unwanted sexual contact by establishing that the defendant:

  • Committed the act by forcible compulsion;
  • Is not married to the victim, who is incapable of giving consent due to mental or physical wellbeing; or
  • Was a health care provider, and the individual forced to have sexual contact was a client

What Is the Punishment for an Indecent Liberties Conviction?

Indecent liberty is charged as a class A felony or class B felony, but the actual charge hinges on the factors of the case. If the defendant forced sexual contact on the victim, it is charged as a class A felony punishable by life in prison or a fine of up to $50,000. Otherwise, it is charged as a class B felony, punishable by ten years in prison or a fine of up to $20,000.

What Is a Class A Felony?

The criminal systems are divided into different major categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are less severe crimes with lower fines and jail time. In comparison, felonies are much more severe, with higher fines and prison time. These crimes usually include murder, rape, kidnapping, arson, or burglary. The length of imprisonment differs among misdemeanors and felonies.

Further, the consequences of a felony conviction are greater than those of misdemeanors. For instance, a felony conviction can deter your prospects for employment and specific professional licenses.

What Are the Civil Consequences of Class A Felony?

Apart from being criminally charged and receiving prison or jail time, you can face some strict civil consequences for a class A felony that includes:

  • The right to vote diminishes;
  • Cannot participate in a jury;
  • Cannot hold public office or run for office;
  • Cannot possess firearms;
  • Becomes challenging to find employment opportunities;
  • Lose the benefit of financial aid for further education and;
  • Finding adequate housing becomes difficult.

What Is a Class B Felony?

A Class B felony is a category of a felony that applies to severe crimes yet not the most serious of crimes.

Because a Class B felony is a felony, it carries harsh penalties, such as a lengthy prison sentence or extreme fines.

People convicted of Class B felonies face harsh and lasting consequences, including lengthy prison sentences that isolate them from loved ones, stringent supervision through parole or probation, and permanent marks on their records.

What Happens After the Felony Conviction?

This depends on the type of felony committed and your criminal background. After consideration of other factors, you may be qualified for probation. Probation is the suspension of jail time, but occasionally, a person must serve some prison time before being placed on probation.

Probation has certain conditions, and if you violate those, you can be imprisoned.

Additionally, parole is also another prospect after being convicted of a felony. Parole is a conditional release before the full term prison sentence. It is similar to probation, but you need to meet with a parole officer regularly and obey the guidelines set as the parole in your case.

Likewise, after conviction of a felony, you can appeal it in a higher court. This is challenging to do and requires the attorney to demonstrate that there has been a misstep in the initial criminal trial process. Also, a felony conviction stays on your record. Nevertheless, this can impede your job opportunities. Thus, some apply to have their criminal history expunged.

This means removing the conviction from your record and having it so it appears as if it never happened.

Should I Contact a Lawyer About My Case?

Contact a Washington criminal lawyer about representing you in your case. If you are facing a class A felony charge, you can seek out a lawyer to help with the chance of lower fines and or punishment. There are severe consequences for being convicted of a felony. Thus, it is essential to consider the sentence for the crime based on the criminal classification system Washington adheres to. There are several possibilities for what is available for someone convicted of a felony. It is crucial to reach out to a class A felony attorney to understand the different options in your situation (for example, parole, probation, and or expungement).

Additionally, if you have a prior criminal history, it may be complicated, and you would need to seek assistance from a criminal lawyer for your case. If you have been charged with a Class B felony, you face incredibly serious jail time. Your freedom is in jeopardy, and you need an aggressive lawyer to fight for your rights in court. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can assist you with exploring your legal options and crafting a defense theory.

Also, indecent liberties are a sexual crime. With it will come harsh societal consequences. Your community may ostracize you. It is best to consult with an attorney after one of these crimes has been committed, particularly if you want to find stable employment or housing. Your criminal defense attorney can help you go through the expungement process if you have been convicted of such a crime. Use LegalMatch to start defending your legal rights today.